I am a biology student with major interest in neuroscience and molecular biology. It's my first year at university.
What should I do if I want to be a reliable researcher in biological sciences, especially in neuroscience?
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If you mean how do I conduct reliable, high quality work? my advice is to always let the data do the speaking. In this publish or perish atmosphere, along with biases of colleagues and mentors, it is easy to begin to interpret data in ways not totally objective. I’ve always tried to step back and as best I can, ask myself ‘what is the data really trying to say?’
If you mean how can I be an outstanding, promising scientist I’d say do the above, but also be present and visible. Go to talks and functions, speak with other students and PIs, and be a good departmental citizen.
being reliable can means two things in scientific context.
standard and quality of research on highest grounds. Unfortunately, molecular biology and neuroscience have a lowest reproducibility rate. there is a lack of understanding of processes and chemistry of reactions. Research is conducted in such a complex setting in terms of quality control and assurance. You will need to find collaborators and get good theoretical background also follow HEITZ advice!
understand publish and perish culture and don't overthink too much about the topic and scope, as a young and future researcher, don't get caught by the prestige of lab and researcher/PI reputation. As matter of fact, highly prestigious labs push the students to explore most of the time dead ends field. Most of their graduate student will not have a good basis for organizing independent research when they finish PhD, and would rather continue to several postdocs. Build independence, but not working independence, rather intellectual one!